First to combine the latest in telemedicine with state-of-the-art autonomous navigation and mobility
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--InTouch Health, the leader in acute care remote presence telemedicine, and iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced the companies will unveil the breakthrough RP-VITA (Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant) at the InTouch Health 7th Annual Clinical Innovations Forum, to be held July 26 - 28 in Santa Barbara, CA. The RP-VITA is the first remote presence solution for patient care that combines the latest in telemedicine technology from InTouch Health with the latest in autonomous navigation and mobility developed for the iRobot Ava™ mobile robotics platform. For the hospital market, the RP-VITA improves patient care by ensuring the physician is in the right place at the right time and has access to the necessary clinical information to take immediate action.
The RP-VITA is a result of a joint development and licensing agreement the two best-of-breed companies announced a year ago and broadened earlier this year. An expandable telemedicine technology platform, the RP-VITA is the remote presence device component of a total acute care telemedicine solution which includes an integrated ecosystem of technologies and support infrastructure, all part of the InTouch® Telemedicine System. The RP-VITA will be sold by InTouch Health as its new flagship remote presence device. iRobot will continue to explore adjacent market opportunities for robots like the RP-VITA and iRobot Ava.
"The hospital industry is undergoing significant changes, and as we strive to maintain our culture of ensuring an excellent patient experience, we face significant pressure on reducing operating expenses and managing staffing and resources. New technology such as the RP-VITA that dramatically increases the effectiveness and extends the reach of healthcare professionals is required," said Richard Afable, M.D., M.P.H., President of and CEO of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. Hoag, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) participated in clinical validations as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review process for the RP-VITA.
The RP‐VITA offers doctors the ability to take command of any clinical, patient or care team management process remotely. It provides a new level of mobility, utility and ease of use for healthcare professionals in the acute care market.
"The RP-VITA raises the bar for overseeing patient care remotely and allows me to proactively control a situation as if I were there," said Jason Knight, M.D., Director of the CHOC Transport Program and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, Irvine. "The robot is so easy to use that I can forget about the technology and just focus on the clinical needs at hand." Dr. Knight led the clinical validation process at CHOC.
Some of the RP-VITA's new and unique features include:
*An enhanced navigation capability that enables the RP-VITA to better manage driving and navigation elements so the health care professional can put more focus on patient care tasks. State‐of‐the-art mapping and Obstacle Detection Obstacle Avoidance (ODOA) technologies allow safe, fast and highly flexible navigation in a clinical environment.
*An additional capability for the RP-VITA incorporates autonomous navigation and is being submitted to the FDA for 510(k) clearance. This capability will allow a remote clinician or bedside nurse to send the RP-VITA to a target destination with a single click, enabling a number of breakthrough clinical applications. InTouch Health anticipates clearance for this feature in Q4 2012.
*Real-time access to important clinical data, enabling a range of new workflow improvements for physicians, nurses and other patient care team members. For example, the RP-VITA can be integrated with live patient data from the electronic medical record and is equipped with the ability to connect with diagnostic devices such as otoscopes and ultrasound. It comes equipped with the latest electronic stethoscope.
*A new, simple to use iPad1 user interface will enable quick and easy navigation to anywhere the RP-VITA needs to go, as well as interaction with the patient, family and care team.
InTouch Health envisions that the expandable RP-VITA platform will provide additional value in orchestrating team-wide care, as a clinical assistant to enhance efficiency and quality, and as a patient advocate to enhance the care experience.
"The RP-VITA is a game changer for acute care telemedicine, and it will become the cornerstone for many new clinical applications and uses. The RP-VITA is a platform that will immediately improve existing healthcare delivery models, and through additional collaboration and development will create new clinical innovations that we can only imagine," said Yulun Wang, Ph.D., InTouch Health's Chairman and CEO.
"While this represents our first foray into the healthcare market, the RP-VITA represents a robust platform, and we foresee many future opportunities in adjacent markets. Robots like the RP-VITA and iRobot Ava are easy to use and able to autonomously navigate real world environments. They lend themselves to a wide variety of applications in home, retail, industrial and other settings," said Colin Angle, Chairman and CEO of iRobot.
In January, iRobot invested $6 million in InTouch Health. This expanded the joint development and licensing agreement formed in 2011, which was established to explore opportunities for healthcare applications on iRobot platforms, including iRobot Ava.
The RP-VITA will be added to the suite of devices included in the FDA-cleared Class II InTouch® Telemedicine System. This clearance includes active patient monitoring in high acuity environments where immediate clinical action may be required, such as in the ICU and emergency department to facilitate the rapid assessment and treatment of stroke and other time critical conditions.
About the Clinical Innovations Forum
InTouch Health's 7th Annual Remote Presence Clinical Innovations Forum (RPCIF) is an annual conference focused on the science, technology, education, planning and sharing of best practices for telemedicine care delivery networks. It will be attended by over 350 hospital physicians, administrators and industry executives, many of whom currently utilize the company's remote presence solutions. InTouch Health's Yulun Wang and iRobot's Colin Angle are keynote speakers, and the Forum faculty includes over 30 clinical and non-clinical leaders from throughout the hospital industry. Some faculty members advised InTouch Health throughout the RP-VITA development process on clinical user and operational requirements. The Forum takes place in Santa Barbara, Calif., from July 26 - 28, at the Fess Parker Doubletree. Registration is required to attend.
About Acute Care Telemedicine
Acute care telemedicine solutions extend the physician's or healthcare professional's reach to manage emergent and acute medical situations remotely, thereby removing critical time and distance barriers. It ensures the right professionals are in the right place at the right time, with the right expertise and the right information to optimize patient care. Remote presence telemedicine plays a key "force multiplying" role by enabling the healthcare workforce to meet the ever-increasing demands of the healthcare system. Utilizing telemedicine can decrease complications for patients in areas of high acuity like the critical care unit, as well as aid in time-sensitive treatment decisions for emergency care. In short, with remote expertise available at a moment's notice, telemedicine enables improved patient safety and quality of care, reduces costs and increases hospital efficiencies.
About InTouch Health
InTouch Health, privately held and headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, has led the emergence of acute care Remote Presence telemedicine that effectively extends the physician's reach to manage patient care, thereby removing critical time and distance barriers. The company offers the InTouch® Telemedicine System, the world's only total solution for acute care telemedicine applications where specialists are required to take immediate clinical action. The System integrates end-to-end telemedicine solutions, its SureConnect® cloud-based network infrastructure, clinical apps, data, industry-leading 24x7 technical support and clinical consulting services. Through a single portal, physicians can access a host of purpose-built, FDA-cleared telemedicine devices to provide care anywhere across the continuum, from EDs, ICUs, procedure rooms and patient wards to clinics, ambulances and homes. InTouch Health has nearly 600 hospital locations on six continents enrolled in its remote presence network for the delivery of telemedicine services such as neurology, critical care, cardiology, trauma, pediatrics, neonatology, behavioral health, language translations, and clinical education and surgical/procedure mentoring. For more information about InTouch Health, please visit www.intouchhealth.com.
About iRobot Corp.
iRobot designs and builds robots that make a difference. The company's home robots help people find smarter ways to clean, and its defense & security robots protect those in harm's way. iRobot's consumer and military robots feature iRobot Aware® robot intelligence systems, proprietary technology incorporating advanced concepts in navigation, mobility, manipulation and artificial intelligence. For more information about iRobot, please visit www.irobot.com.